Illegal burning

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It has been reported to Arroyo City News that illegal burning has taken place on a number of occasions in our fire zone 10. While yard burning is permitted, certain rules apply that must be followed. Here is a link to the fire department’s information on burning: http://arroyocityvfd.com/firesafety.html

The rules are stated with residential properties in mind, but the regulations apply to ALL burning in the zone – farming and commercial properties included. We understand much of the burning has been done at night which is prohibited by State law, irrespective of the rules and regulations.

The perpetrators know who they are and we appeal to them to be good neighbors and respect the law and our community.

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Los Fresnos FD

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Los Fresnos FD has a new home. After the men’s breakfast this morning, you can attend the open house from 10 to noon at their new location just east of the rodeo grounds on rte 100. Chief Gene Daniels and his department have been stalwart supporters of the Arroyo City VFD over the years and they can be relied upon for mutual aid when required. We ask God to bless them in their endeavors and cover the firefighters with a blanket of protection.

Fire Department Appointment

lieutenant_fire_deptAt the regular board meeting last Tuesday, the Secretary/Treasurer, Diane Sheehy, was appointed Lieutenent in the department. Diane is a level 2 qualified firefighter and richly deserves the promotion. She has tirelessly served as Secretary/Treasurer and responded to multiple emergency calls. We know she attributes all her achievements to God, but we congratulate her and in the process glorify God for his blessing and grace. May He guide and protect her in her new role.

Fire Department update

You all may have noticed a red Humvee around town. It is the command/first response  vehicle of the Fire Department, acquired from the Texas Surplus Commission. Originally drab army green, it was rejuvenated with a coat of paint and we look forward to it serving the community. Since the Fire Department area includes the County park, much farmland and brush, the Humvee will be invaluable in dealing with any brush fires.

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Power pole fire

You may have noticed we experienced a power failure around midnight last night, lasting about 3 hours. The culprit was a power pole fire at the Channel View RV park that started around 7:30 pm. Here’s how the incident unfolded: The Fire Department was dispatched by 911 at 7:50. The chief arrived a few minutes later, followed by the pump truck and firefighters at 8:00. Since the power was still on, the Fire Dept could not extinguish the fire immediately. Hosing water onto live power lines is a no-no. A Magic Valley Electric Co-op crew arrived around 8:45 and used fire extinguishers to put out the fire. The pole was severely damaged and the Co-op crew retired to a safe distance, waiting for backup to repair/replace the pole. With power still on, the fire re-ignited and continued burning the pole until it broke off. The broken portion was held aloft by a line feeding over to the RV park. There was no immediate danger of the fire spreading and the Co-op crew elected to leave power on to avoid a blackout in the area. By 11:45, the Co-op backup crew had still not arrived, the wind was picking up a little and the fire was starting to pose a threat from dropping embers. The Fire Department determined that the situation was too dangerous and instructed the Co-op crew to cut the power. The fire was well and truly extinguished by the pump truck crew. Fortunately, within minutes of putting out the fire, the Co-op construction crew arrived with a new pole, equipment and what looked to be at least 8 cherry pickers. They got to work and the power was restored after 3 or so hours. We don’t have any photos of the incident but here are a sampling of what pole fires look like and what ensuing damage can occur.

Pole fires usually start by an arc tracking across an insulator to ground over the wooden pole. The arcing is not sufficient to trip the circuit, but is hot enough to set fire to the pole. Salt from the sea air and dirt settle on the insulators. After a long dry spell, this accumulation becomes heavy. When there is a short rain which is not hard or long enough to wash off the accumulation, the rain water dissolves the salt, mixes it with the dust and creates a path for the electricity to arc and track across the pole, igniting it in the process. This is fairly common close to the ocean, in fact Port Mansfield Fire Department inform us that 80% of their fire calls are for pole fires.

Thank you to the Arroyo City Fire Department for their prompt response and vigilance in protecting our community.

New Brush Truck for the Fire Department

Yesterday Chief Jay and Asst Chief Chuck visited the Federal Surplus Depot in San Antonio to find a replacement for the old Deuce and a Half brush truck. They found a 2007 truck and trailer with only 68 miles on the clock. Needless to say they clinched the deal. Work will now start to transfer the tank, pump and hose from the old truck to the new. It is a simple exercise and is expected to be complete within two weeks. The old Deuce will be put out to pasture after a long and productive life.

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Goodbye old friend.